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PDP: Egbema Group Kicks, As Warri North Itsekiri Political Leaders Exclude Ijaws In Position Sharing

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Herdsmen Killings: Uwheru Community Lauds DTHA Resolution, Appeals To Gov Oborevwori On Security Measures
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…Advises Gov Oborevwori To Halt Process

By Daniel Dafe

A PDP group of Ijaw extraction in Warri North Local Government Area, Egbema PDP Advocacy Group, has said that they are “vehemently opposed to the nomination of an Itsekiri, Mr. Festus Asima, as the PDP flag-bearer for Warri North Local Government Area Council in respect of the forthcoming election.”

I’m a statement signed by Mr. Carson Tarilade, Group Chairman; Mr. John Timiyo, Group Secretary and Comrade Brandly Coupa, Member, the political group added that “it is an insult for only Itsekiri Political Leaders to sit and decide for the Ijaws without their input and consent.”

PDP: Egbema Group Kicks, As Warri North Itsekiri Political Leaders Exclude Ijaws In Position Sharing

Adding: “With this so-called nomination, the three key positions of Chairman of Council, Member of the Delta State House of Assembly and the member of the State Executive Council (Commissioner), means power in Warri North is now effectively and exclusively with the Itsekiri, contrary to the statutory Federal Character Principle; and it would also complete the exclusion of the Egbema Ijaws of the local government area.”

According to the statement, “this is an aberration; and, it is a heinous act of injustice in any civilized society.”

The statement reads further: “Today, all the symptoms of the obnoxious apartheid regime are present in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State. Every successive government has keyed into making it a State Policy to exclude the Ijaws in political decisions and provision of infrastructure; and, this is in spite of our valuable votes and oil resources. Indeed, we are considered to count for nothing. This has hampered our free and progressive existance in the local government of our birth.

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“The Itsekiri with six (6) Federal Wards as against the Ijaw’s four (4) Wards since 1991 took the Chairmanship position for about 27 years until former Gov Okowa corrected the injustice in 2020 when one of our own, Cpt Smart Asekutu, became Chairman of the council. His tenure just ended in March, 2024. They (Itsekiri) have not relinquished the House of Assembly position running for about 33 years with an Itsekiri son, Hon. Fred Martins, serving as the current member. By 2027, the Itsekiris would have had it for 36 years to the exclusion of the Ijaws!

“When our amiable governor Sheriff Francis Oborevwori came to power he appointed two Commissioners from Warri North; but to our chargrin both were Itsekiri. We were told that they were slots given to Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, former governor of the State, and Hon. Michael Diden and Ebosa on one side. It seems individuals were considered over and above the Federal Character Principle as enshrined in Section 14 subsection 3 and 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the exclusion of the Egbema people. The section provides: “The composition of the government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in the government or in any of its agencies. The composition of the government of a State, a local govt council, or any of it agencies of such government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the government or council shall be carried out in such a manner as to recongnise the diversity of the people…”

“This decision was followed by protest from the Ijaws of Egbema because it did not consider the diversity of the Council area. What Deltans want is a ‘concensual and inclusive government’. The Oborevwori government should not be stampeded into taking a decision that excludes critical stakeholders of the party and Ijaws of Warri North LGA.”

Contiuing, the group, said: “Consequently, we urge the governor to call the Warri North Itsekiri leadership to order as we will not allow a campaign or an election in Warri North where none of these three key positions are conceded to the Egbema Ijaws.”

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